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Re-enactors on Battle Road at Minute Man National Historical Park.

Holiday Hours: Patriots Day

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Monday, April 15, is Patriots Day, a state holiday marking the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord that began the American Revolution. The day has been celebrated on the third Monday in April since 1969.

It was on the morning of April 20, 1775, that Paul Revere and other riders began the alert across and beyond Massachusetts Colony that troops were planning to advance from Boston to the towns of Lexington and Concord. They were to seize a cache of gunpowder and arms and capture revolutionaries Sam Adams and John Hancock.

(Local legend claims that Israel Bissell, later of Hinsdale, rode all the way to Philadelphia, but most historians dismiss it.)

Previous attempts to capture munitions depots from the increasingly belligerent colonials had failed, so Lt. Col. Francis Smith led some 700 British regulars on what was supposed to be a secret mission against the nearby towns. Colonial spies were aware of the expedition and some local militia was mustered on the Lexington green the night before.

Whether it was a colonial or soldier who fired "the shot heard round the world" on Lexington green is unknown. However, word spread quickly that shots had been fired at Lexington and more colonials headed to Concord. The army took the town but came under fire at North Bridge and beat an ignominious retreat to Boston.

Adams and Hancock evaded capture and much of the arms had been scattered to surrounding towns long before the army arrived. As reports of the events spread throughout the colonies, supplies and reinforcements, including George Washington, began arriving to relieve Boston. A year later, the British army would leave on March 17; the event is commemorated in Suffolk County as Evacuation Day.

Minute Man National Park in Concord and Lexington has several events planned this weekend and Monday.

Patriots Day is also known as "Marathon Monday" because the Boston Marathon, the world's oldest annual marathon, has traditionally been run on that day. The 128th marathon starts off at 10 a.m. in Hopkinton (where it's started the past 100 years) with more than 30,000 entries. 

(per WBUR) Apparently, King Edward VII wanted the marathon for the 1908 London Olympics to start at Windsor Castle, which meant 385 yards had to be added to the standard 24.8 miles. The new 26.2-mile marathon distance wasn't adopted until 1924 by the Boston Marathon, when it became the last test for the Paris Games for Olympic hopefuls that year. Hopkinton then became the starting point over Ashland. 

The Red Sox host the Cleveland Guardians at 11:10 a.m. at Fenway.

Because of the holiday and Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Massachusetts tax filers get two extra days. Tax forms are due to the IRS by midnight on Wednesday, April 17. 

The weekend will be cool and rainy compared to last year's temperatures in 80s and Monday is forecast to be clear and breezy in the 60s. 
Municipal, county and state offices

Public schools; it marks the first day of spring vacation
Public colleges, including MCLA and BCC
Public libraries

BRTA operating on regular schedule; office closed
Restaurants, bars, convenience stores, supermarkets, retail stores, liquor stores
Banks may open if they wish; all markets are open
Federal offices open: mail is delivered

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PCTV Pizza Fundraiser Successful in Second Year

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

KJ Nosh won Judge's Choice for best overall pizza. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than 170 people gathered for the love of pizza and community television on Thursday.

Pittsfield Community Television's second Eatza Pizza fundraiser was held at Berkshire Hills Country Club, featuring pies from seven local eateries. Hungry attendees sampled pizzas ranging from classic cheese to veggie, meat, and even hot honey topped.

The event raised about $4,300 — topping last year's total of about $3,500.

"PCTV and WTBR are nonprofit organizations. A lot of people don't realize that because they think of other types of organizations as nonprofits. We're in that same vein where we need to raise money," Executive Director Shawn Serre explained.

"And we do have some regular sources of funding but a lot of those are tied to cable revenues and cable revenues, as everyone knows, are going down so that means that we have to work even harder at events like this to make make up the difference."

PortaVia, located in Dalton, took home the People's Choice title for the second year in a row, being coined the "reigning defending undisputed" champion. In addition to a few classics, it offered best sellers such as black garlic pizza and the "Not Your Granny's Pie!" with grilled chicken, granny smith apples, and bacon.

"It's a great honor. Our team really needed a win like this right now," owner James Boland said. "We're happy to be a part of it. I think it's a well-done event, and we're honored to be a part of it."

Manager Mattie George felt the win was "magical."

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